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NATO chief appeals for peace; Taliban kill 20 Afghan guards

AP  |  Kabul 

The NATO urged the on Tuesday to stop killing their fellow Afghans, an appeal that came just hours after the insurgents attacked border troops in western province, killing at least 20.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Afghan Ashraf Ghani, NATO said the "must realize the war does not benefit anyone."

A resurgent now hold nearly half of and carry out near-daily attacks on Afghan security forces, inflicting heavy casualties.

The Taliban view the US-backed government in as a dysfunctional Western puppet and have refused repeated offers to negotiate with it.

But and NATO are holding out hope, seeking to find a negotiated exit to 17 years of war.

Speaking alongside Stoltenberg, Ghani said his government hopes "the beginning of formal negotiations is not far."


"The result has to be an inclusive Afghan peace, one that all Afghans accept," he said. To this end, "we support the engagement of our international colleagues." The remarks of the two stood in sharp contrast to the violence that shakes the nation almost daily.

In western province, the Taliban attacked an Afghan border base on Monday night, killing at least 20 troops and abducting about 20 others.

According to Abdul Samad Salehi, a provincial council member, about 45 border forces were based at the outpost in the district as it was overrun by the Taliban, setting off an hours-long gunbattle. All communication with the base was lost, he said.

Three guards managed to reach a nearby village while the rest were either killed or taken by the Taliban, Salehi said.

A in Farah, who was not authorize to speak to the media, confirmed the casualty figures.

Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack; he also claimed several military vehicles and large amounts of amination were seized.

One of the key demands of the Taliban is that all foreign forces should leave the country.

Stoltenberg said one of the reasons for the high casualties among the Afghan security forces is that they have taken the responsibility for the "security of the entire country."

"There no way I can go back to or to United States, NATO allies and partners and say that it didn't exactly go as we expected, so now we should leave (Afghanistan)," Stoltenberg said.

"That will be a total wrong approach; we are here because it is in our interest to be here, to increase our own security.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, November 06 2018. 20:40 IST
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